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https://www.duolingo.com/AlexanderUK

Should i ultimately be doing something on top of duolingo or will this be enough to become fluent?

Will this course make me fluent? Are other people doing more than just duolingo?

3 years ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/beadspitter

First of all, it's useful to make a distinction between being fluent (speaking it like a native speaker, being able to identify subtle implications of region, status, or class involved in accent, tone, and choice of words and phrase, having intuitions about grammar and syntax the way native speakers have - "That just sounds wrong, you'd have to say it like this" - thinking in the language without effort), which is a major commitment for adult second language acquisition, and being proficient (being able to converse easily with native speakers, at a natural pace, with appropriate vocabulary/syntax for the situation, being able to read a newspaper or a novel in the learned language as easily as in your own, having a good accent), which is a good goal for serious language learners.

There's no way for an adult learner to become fluent except to be immersed in the language for a significant period of time, and be attentive about it. Some people do this right away, without studying the language at all, which I think is a little iffy, but everyone learns differently. Some people do it after studying quite a bit.

Even proficiency needs attentive interaction with native speakers to really get there.

So the real question, since DuoLingo can't give you that experience, is, "Will DuoLingo alone help me achieve as high a degree of proficiency as is possible without immersive interaction with native speakers?" Because the answer to whether it can do anything more is just a flat 'no'. (Disregard the 'Fluency' percent badge, and the word 'immersion'. They don't mean what they seem to mean.)

I only know DuoLingo in Spanish for English speakers, and can't speak for the other programs. My feeling is that it is theoretically possible to attain near-proficiency using DL alone, to the point where everything you have left to do is going to be done by contact with native speakers. However, A: that would require some very focused, dedicated work, not just doing the lessons DL puts in front of you. And B: I think a lot of us find that there are some things we don't learn as well from DL, and appreciate having auxiliary help with. Some people go crazy trying to remember vocabulary and the gender of nouns. Some people, like me, have a lot of difficulty switching between tenses or reading tenses accurately. There are all kinds of areas where people get stuck, and when you're stuck, it can help to have another app which uses another approach.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sandeepa2
sandeepa2
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Wow, that's a nice post. Muchas gracias.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexanderUK

Yeh gracias senor i think you nailed it

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JeffA2
JeffA2
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This course will not make you fluent. Most people seem to feel you may get to a reasonable A2 in reading and writing, but less than that in speaking.

You should be listening to radio and podcasts in your target language, and looking for any opportunity you can find to practice speaking. If you want to become fluent, you need to throw yourself into it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sandeepa2
sandeepa2
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Hola Alejandro22UK, I do not think that any single source can help anyone to become fluent. By my own experience, one needs to tackle Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking skills which would include vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, diction etc.

Whilst what works for each one may be different, my broad methodology is as follows:

  1. Reading comprehension: Duolingo Exercises and Duolingo Immersion (Addresses Vocabulary, Grammar, Context), LingQ (Vocabulary, Context), Memrise (mainly vocabulary), reading Spanish articles online.

  2. Writing - Duolingo Reverse Tree (English to Target Language), Writing to Penpals in Spanish (Target language).

  3. Listening Comprehension - Fluencia, Yabla Spanish, Spanish Podcasts, LingQ, Spanish TV Shows and Spanish Music, Conversing with Spanish Native Speakers as and when possible (can be on-line /telephone / in person).

  4. Speaking - Conversing with Spanish Native Speakers, or repeating aloud with any Spanish multi-media.

For all of the above, I find Memrise, Fluencia and Duolingo as a very useful way to build up vocabulary.

Hope that helps.

Buena Suerte

Saludos

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrookeLorren
BrookeLorren
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The writing can also be accomplished by doing a third language to target language tree. For example, doing the German->Spanish tree as a native English speaker :-). Kill two birds with one stone.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

Most people who are serious about learning another language are doing more than just Duolingo. You have many options: books, movies and TV shows, radio programs, and other applications. It won't make you fluent but Duolingo is a good place to start.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ins26
Ins26
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I can't take private lessons so I just know what I learn in school, where I'm studying English and French. I think it's a good page for review things but it's difficult learn one language from scratch because I entered here for study German but it's too difficult, at least for me, learn it here. (Sorry about the mistakes)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tolunayo
tolunayo
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I think most of us here are unable to take private lessons or go travel to other countries and get truly immersed. So, Duolingo is a tool that allows us to get a reasonable base to continue studying, learning. Ultimately, is a long journey that we have to be patient and have persistence.

Besides Duolingo we have to use a lot of other outside tools such as podcasts, radio, drill books, MOOC courses on Coursera, edX, MiriadaX and other apps like Memrise. Every little bit helps.

And, don't worry about your English. It will get better when you try and make those mistakes. It takes longer to learn languages if you afraid to make mistakes and shy away.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ins26
Ins26
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Yes, I agree, I'm trying to read texts, listening to music and sometimes watch films in English. I've also been chatting with native English speakers and I think I've improved a bit this year. The truth is that I am quite shy for all, but I've decided that I have to start practicing English a little more seriously. I hope Duolingo can help me with this and thank you for your support too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexlunac
alexlunac
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I started to learn here (from zero), Instal Duolingo in my phone was the best idea, why? I started with the basic lesson (say man, woman, girl) then my tree was completed then I attended an English academy then I started to learn more and more each day and you now what? you must take this seriously according with my opinion you never will become fluent speaker with duolingo you must practice your speaking skills and go out from your comfort zone, I'm sure according with my own experience that Duolingo only gives you the best bases than others websites but you must push yourself and keep going. keep learning, take care.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/redneckray

What does fluency mean to you?

If you wish to read Spanish texts this is the place to learn

If you wish to listen to Spanish TV or radio, the world is full of people who can read Spanish but not hear Spanish. Find a program to teach you to listen.

Google is your friend

If you wish to converse in Spanish....

Google ie your friend

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

It will give you enough exposure to the more common grammar concepts and vocabulary that you can venture out on your own. The Duolingo Wiki has a looooooong list of resources that might be useful for you. Your reasons for learning Spanish will help you decide the kinds of resources you want to focus on (reading, speaking, watching movies), but practicing all four forms of the language (speaking, reading, listening, writing) will help you.

You might also be interested learning more about language acquisition, to help you set some expectations and get more background info about what your amazing brain is doing: here's one from Colorado and here's another from an ESL teacher site.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrookeLorren
BrookeLorren
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There's a lot that you can do AFTER Duolingo (or even concurrently) to improve your language skills. No one single language course is going to make you fluent.

However, I think that if you do Duolingo, finish the tree, and it becomes easy for you, then you can actually start using it in real life. Things such as:

  • Reading Spanish books and magazines
  • Watching movies in Spanish (originally in Spanish or dubbed into Spanish)
  • Spanish podcasts
  • Going to Spanish web sites

Or talking to people in Spanish (although I happen to be shy IRL so this was never a main goal of mine... but it does improve peripherally by doing the above).

When you start doing things outside of Duolingo, it might be hard. For example, when I first started reading National Geographic En EspaƱol, I was looking up several words per paragraph... now I might look up two to four words in an entire article. It gets easier though. And isn't the point of learning a foreign language to actually use it? Whether you want to use it to watch Spanish YouTube channels or read Don Quixote, the advantage of knowing a foreign language is being able to use it.

3 years ago